Interns prematurely return from Capitol internship

Last week, four Missouri Southern students who were interning in Jefferson City with the state legislation were prematurely called back from the internship and returned to the University.

According to Joanna Derfelt, director of the Spradling Center for Law and Politics and Southern associate professor, the internship follows the legislative calendar. The 2015 Missouri state session opened on January 7 and is scheduled to end on May 15.

When asked about the abrupt ending of the internship, University President Alan Marble said he had nothing to add to the following statement released by Crystal Lemmons, associate vice president for academic affairs:

“The university was recently made aware of issues regarding our legislative internship program. We made a decision to reassign the interns to other responsibilities for the duration of the semester. They will receive full academic credit for their work. Due to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), we cannot release additional information about these issues.”

Derfelt, who manages the internship program, provided details on how the internship is evaluated.

“As we have every prior year, an analysis of the program will occur this summer, legislative feedback will be sought and any changes to the program will be made prior to the 2015-2016 school year,” said Derfelt.

According to the Political Science Department page of Southern’s website, students from Southern have been well regarded in the past.

“This program has been credited with being the best program in the State of Missouri by those we serve,” said the site.

Students who participate in the internship program receive a 12-hour tuition scholarship and a stipend to help cover living expenses, according to the webpage.

Three of the four student interns did not reply to messages.